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The Constructivist Moment
From Material Text to Cultural Poetics
Barrett Watten

2003 • 364 pp. 75 illus. 6 x 9"
Cultural Studies / Poetics

$29.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6610-2
$23.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-6978-3

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

"Watten...weaves an impressively wide array of perspectives into an argument for the continuing importance of avant-garde strategies in art today." Publishers Weekly

Provocative cultural readings of avant-garde literature and art.

As one of the founding poets and editors of the Language School of poetry and one of its central theorists, Barrett Watten has consistently challenged the boundaries of literature and art. In The Constructivist Moment, he offers a series of theoretically informed and textually sensitive readings that advance a revisionist account of the avant-garde through the methodologies of cultural studies. His major topics include American modernist and postmodern poetics, Soviet constructivist and post-Soviet literature and art, Fordism and Detroit techno—each proposed as exemplary of the social construction of aesthetic and cultural forms. His book is a full-scale attempt to place the linguistic turn of critical theory and the self-reflexive foregrounding of language by the avant-garde since the Russian Formalists in relation to the cultural politics of postcolonial studies, feminism, and race theory. As such, it will provide a crucial revisionist perspective within modernist and avant-garde studies.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

"The Constructivist Moment will be an important contribution to our knowledge of modernism and to the avant-garde, and it will be a key document in our understanding of contemporary experimental language arts." —Michael Davidson, Professor of Literature, University of California, San Diego

“Barrett Watten's magisterial analyses of the intersections among social forces and aesthetic forms, his powerful fusion of theory and practice as a poet-critic, create a bridge between cultural studies and poetics. This demanding, incisive, necessary book writes about, and for, the radical transformation of culture."Rachel Blau DuPlessis, author of Drafts 1-38, Toll


Winner of the American Comparative Literature Association's Rene Wellek Prize (2004)

BARRETT WATTEN is Associate Professor of English at Wayne State University and the author of Total Syntax (1985), essays on avant-garde poetics. He was the editor of This (1971–82) and co-editor of Poetics Journal (1982–98). Recent collections of his literary work include Frame (1971–1990) (1997), Bad History (1998), and, forthcoming, Progress/Under Erasure.

Click here for author's website.

Tue, 15 May 2018 12:58:24 -0500